3 Tesla – Hello signal, bye bye noise
Priority MRI uses modern 3T technology. This is the most clinically advanced MRI equipment in British Columbia. What does this mean for your patient? 3T refers to the magnetic field strength of the main magnet, measured in Tesla. This is twice as strong as the current 1.5T systems available elsewhere. The increased field strength translates into three main advantages:
Spatial resolution – better depiction of smaller structures due to improved signal to noise ratio (SNR). In neuro applications, this can be structures such as nerve roots. In musculoskeletal applications, this can be small cartilaginous components of joint such as the labrum. In some small joints such as the wrist, the improved resolution may obviate the need for performing an invasive MR arthrogram. In angiographic applications, the improved resolution can mean better assessment of small intracranial vessels and reduced threshold for aneurysm detection.
Speed – Sequences can be optimized for the higher field strength to be up to 4 times faster. This means that complete exams can be performed much more rapidly than conventional 1.5T systems. This may mean the difference between a diagnosis and a failed exam in the claustrophobic or fidgety patient.
Comfort – The increased speed of image acquisition with 3T can make the exam more comfortable for patients with pain and limited mobility. For prostate imaging, 3T imaging allows for detailed images to be acquired without the use of an uncomfortable endorectal coil.
The exam costs are similar to that of other private 1.5T facilities.
Priority MRI also plans to offer functional and spectroscopic imaging for research based projects.